Chapter 16: I much prefer you
“I am only a woman,” Chen Rong continued after a pause. “I am bound to be incomplete in my assessment. It is merely a guess that nomadic tribes would be intercepting the Yellow River. I dare not delay Sir Wang with what is only a speculation. I only want to part ways with you and find another path on my own.”
Sir Wang frowned. After some quiet contemplation, he glanced to Wang Hong again.
Wang Hong observed her for a while before saying: “Ah Rong, I’m sure you know that each family has sent guards to scout the road. If there really are Hu tribesmen, why has no one reported back to us? Or are you referring to the other side of the river?”
Chen Rong nodded: “Indeed I mean the other side of the river.”
Wang Hong knitted his brow this time. He told the people around him: “Send a few men to cross the river ahead of us. Make sure to check carefully.”
In doing so, he was acknowledging her opinion.
But Chen Rong wasn’t made happy. She again said, “Whether barbarians are on the other side or not, I do not want to cross the river. Sir Wang, Qilang, please allow me to bid goodbye.”
She was very firm. Wang Zhuo lapsed into silence.
Behind him, Wang Wulang furrowed his brow. He watched Chen Rong’s innocently beautiful face for a moment, stood up, placed his hands together and said, “Ah Rong, why are you in a rush to leave? Qilang has sent scouts ahead, so why not wait a while longer?” Then he added: “You are only a vulnerable woman, and you do not have many guards by your side. What would you do were you to encounter bandits?”
Wang Zhuo nodded on the side and said, “That’s exactly right. Ah Rong, if you believe your Uncle Wang, then don’t speak of leaving any longer. Go go, this old man still wants to finish his dinner.”
Wang Zhuo waved his hand, indicating he did not wish to talk any further.
Chen Rong startlingly realized that if she insisted on leaving, she would not be considerate of the Wangs’ faces.
She pressed her lips and then at length curtsied to Wang Zhuo before turning around to go.
After she went roughly ten steps, she saw Sun Yan standing under a poplar tree, his posture as straight as a sword.
But as soon as she glanced his way, the boy turned away and sprinted back to the team.
Chen Rong was preoccupied and paid him no further attention. She put her head down and also returned to the team.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
She had just mounted the carriage when Nurse Ping’s voice sounded outside: “Miss, Sir Wang thinks highly of you. Perhaps he has chosen you for a Wang gentleman.”
She stopped in her tracks, turning to look in the direction of the Wang house.
Old Shang laughed: “You’re exactly right. What kind of man is Sir Wang? He must have picked out our lady. If we separate from the Wang house at a time like this, we would never meet again. Where would the Wang lads find another lady like Ah Rong?”
Chen Rong’s expression sank upon hearing this. She thought to Wang Wulang’s attitude toward her along the journey. Could this be true?
As the sun slowly descended into the horizon, the wilderness broke into a commotion. All cavalcades stopped and hurried to prepare the ships for the next day’s departure.
Absentmindedly, Chen Rong stepped down from her carriage.
Everywhere around her was bustling with busy servants. She wandered aimlessly for a while before unconsciously coming to a mound.
She stood on the mound looking at the servants from five hundred meters away. There, laughter filled the air, and satin mats draped the lawn a pure white.
Hundreds of nobles had gathered there.
Of course. All the majors clan had gathered at the Yellow River shore. The youngsters wouldn’t miss this chance to meet one another.
“Why aren’t you going over there?”
A male quacking voice suddenly rose behind Chen Rong.
“I’ll go over soon,” she smilingly answered.
Sun Yan took two steps to join her on the mound. After a brief silence, he suddenly said, “You seem a little nervous. Why?”
Chen Rong’s back stiffened. She kept her smile on: “I’m not nervous.”
“You are too!”
“I said I’m not!” She turned and snapped at him.
With the last ray of the setting sun, Sun Yan fixed his gaze on her. His eyes were so sharp that Chen Rong was made to feel the awkwardness of being seen through.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
She quickly turned away, avoiding his gaze.
Sun Yan withdrew his gaze and murmured: “Chen Rong, you are only fifteen years old. Why is it that there are so many secrets hidden in your eyes?”
She scoffed and vehemently countered, “I don’t have any secrets!”
Sun Yan didn’t refute her. He looked to the distant horizon where heaven and earth joined and, after a while, turned to the nobles’ gathering place while saying: “I thought you like Wang Hong. Why aren’t you sticking to his side like the other girls? Qilang of the Wang house would never know that you’re standing here.”
She? Likes Wang Qilang? Chen Rong snickered.
She turned around, smiling at Sun Yan with her midnight eyes. “Who says I like him?” Looking at the boy whose beard had obviously just begun to form a shadow but was always putting on a grown-up demeanor, Chen Rong mischievously winked and said to him, “Compared to him, I much prefer you. Didn’t you know?”
His handsome face instantly turned red.
She didn’t expect this reaction from him. Surprised, she couldn’t help herself from curiously staring at him. Under her gaze, Sun Yan turned even redder. He harrumphed and turned to the side, his raspy voice speaking angrily: “Never repeat such nonsense!”
Then he flapped his sleeves and left the mound, rushing off and disappearing in the blink of an eye from Chen Rong’s field of vision.
Chen Rong stared after him in befuddlement, murmuring: “Did he have to react so strongly? What a strange fellow.”
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